July, according to NIWA, was our warmest on record and it certainly helped that month pass quickly. The bees certainly have consumed
a lot of stores. Bees are currently bringing in pollen and I have started stimulation feeds for the grafting yard, and in early August I started putting miticide in hives noted to go in the grafting yard. We had a major polar blast in early August that continued into the following week, hopefully killing the few remaining wasps that we have been sighting.

Not only has the warm weather made winter pass quickly, I certainly enjoyed Dr Samuel Ramsey’s thought-provoking presentations on Tropilaelaps and varroa at the ApiNZ Conference at Rotorua. [Editor’s note: see Conference report regarding Dr Ramsey’s Tropilaelaps presentation on page 19.]

Also, I have presented queen cell production workshops throughout New Zealand, and have picked up a few tips from attendees. At some of these tutorials, the conversation at the end on different techniques and hive management in various parts of the country has been great. To me, this highlights the value of beekeepers meeting and having informative, informal and friendly discussions. These conversations have certainly given me a few ideas for topics and speakers at future Canterbury Hub events.

- Maggie James